1. The Cotswold Way
If you want a glorious overview of the Cotswolds ticking off everything that makes this one of the most beloved regions in the country, you can’t beat the Cotswold Way. Stretching 100 miles from Bath to Chipping Campden, it’s a walk that will reward you with soothing panoramas, picture-perfect villages and landmarks.
Hiking the full route will take you seven to ten days, depending on your level of and how easily you are by quaint tea shops and welcoming pubs.
Thankfully, the Cotswold Way incorporates a number of smaller walks each with their own character that allows you to sample the charms – like the wildflowers and limestone grassland around Cleeve Common the pretty market towns of Winchcombe and Snowshill, the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap or the Broadway Tower folly.
2. The Roll right Stones
Following a section of the Shakespeare’s Way long distance footpath this five mile walk will take you from the pretty town of Chipping Norton to a group of stones steeped in mystery.
You’ll spot the monuments as you walk across a green rolling valley. They are split into three groups – a ring of stones known as the Kings Men the Whispering burial chamber and the single King Stone.
Legend has it that the stones are a king and his knights, turned to stone by a witch. Spoilsport archaeologists have dated them further back to neolithic times. From the stones the path continues to the charming hamlet of Little Roll right.
3. The Wychavon Way
Created to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the Wychavon Way is a delightful walk through meadows, woodlands, orchards and riverside pastures.
42 miles long it leads keen walkers from the Spa town of Droit wich to the gorgeous village of Broadway, known locally as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’.
Expect hidden hollows, towering hilltops and breathtaking views across the Vale of Evesham and beyond. As you approach Broadway, note the honey-coloured dry stone walls, a certain sign that you are in the Cotswolds.
4. The Blossom Trail
Canny walkers save this 40-mile signposted route through the beautiful Vale of Evesham for spring. The sun is shining the sheep are lambing and the cherry and apple trees lining the trail are heavy with pretty pink and white blossom. The Blossom Trail.
Having said that the Blossom Trail is beautiful at any time of the year. The Vale of Evesham forms part of the River Avon’s flood plains and is rich in farmlands, orchards and patchworked fields.
You’ll pass plenty of local farm shops, roadside stalls, pick-your-own centres and farmers’ markets as you walk. Head to Eversham and simply follow the signs.
5. The Winchcombe Way
This unique figure-of-eight trail is centred on the Cotswold town of Winchcombe, and offers walkers a number of ways to discover the hidden gems of the northern Cotswolds.
Head east, and you’ll follow the Farmcote Valley to Guiting Wood. Then you’ll traverse through quiet valleys and tranquil villages, to Stanway House and its delightful restored watermill.
Head west, and you’re almost immediately treated to breathtaking views from Langley Hill before dropping down into Gretton and across to Alderton.
After skirting around Dumbleton Hill and Cleeve Common, you’ll descend towards Winchcombe enjoying a lovely view of Sudeley Castle and the surrounding countryside as you enter the town.